Kennel Club access advisor Stephen Jenkinson flew out to New Zealand during September to help residents of Christchurch rebuild a more dog-friendly city in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.

Kennel Club access advisor Stephen Jenkinson flew out to New Zealand during September to help residents of Christchurch rebuild a more dog-friendly city in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.
 
By Andy Miah [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsA massive reconstruction programme is underway and, in a bid to better accommodate pet owners’ needs and promote the many positive aspects of dog ownership such as exercise and companionship, local officials have requested Mr Jenkinson‘s help.

Mr Jenkinson has been the Kennel Club’s access advisor since 2002 and works across the UK to help local councils and landowners be more dog-friendly, while at the same time reducing conflict for livestock, wildlife and other users of parks, countryside paths and beaches.
 
Prior to his trip, Mr Jenkinson said: “This is such a great opportunity to salvage some good out of the earthquake’s devastation and the tragic loss of 181 lives. I am sure I’ll have very mixed emotions when I get there, especially as tremors continue to this day, and the destruction is still very much there to see.
 
Stephen JenkinsonChristchurch is a dog loving city and I am keen to ensure that the reconstruction programme takes account of the needs of these dogs and their owners, by providing the access and green space that they require, and that it helps to enhance quality of life.
 
“I am very happy to give my time to help the animal loving people of Christchurch, especially as many risked their lives by breaking through police cordons to search for frightened, injured and trapped pets.”
 
Christchurch residents have the highest level of dog ownership in New Zealand, but unfortunately have suffered increasing restrictions on where they can go and what they can do, as fewer places for off-lead exercise were made available and pets were banned from public transport.
 
As 10,000 homes need to be demolished, and many areas of the city and suburbs cannot be built on due to instability, cracks and landslides, many new parks, paths and green spaces are now to be provided for both human and animal enjoyment.

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